Little is known about how tourists’ eating habits change between everyday life and holidays. This study aims to identify market segments based on changes in food consumption and experiences of a sun-and-sea destination’s local food. The authors evaluate to what extent tourists consume local food and assess the contribution of local food experiences to the tourists’ overall experience.
The target population was all tourists visiting the Algarve in the Summer 2018 and included both domestic and international sun-and-sea tourists. A sample of 378 valid questionnaires was collected. Data analysis included descriptive analysis, statistical tests and cluster analysis.
Cluster analysis identified three segments: non-foodies, selective foodies and local gastronomy foodies. Results indicate that tourists change their eating habits during holidays, eating significantly more seafood and fish and less legumes, meat, fast food and cereals and their derivatives. International and domestic sun-and-sea tourists reported that eating local food contributes significantly to their overall tourism experience.
Sun-and-sea destinations should promote the offer of local dishes, especially those that include locally produced fish and seafood, to improve the tourist experience, differentiate the destination and increase sustainability.
The authors address three identified research gaps: a posteriori segmentation based on tourists’ food consumption behaviour; measurement of changes in eating practices between home and in a sun-and-sea destination; and assessment of the role of food experiences to overall tourism experience of tourists visiting a sun-and-sea destination.
|Journal||International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management|
|Publication status||Published - 2020|
- Behavioural segmentation
- Change in eating habits
- ETHNIC FOOD
- Local food consumption
- Sun-and-sea destinations